England vs Samoa - 25th November

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England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 20 Nov 2017, 6:36 am

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Details

Date: Saturday 25th November
Time: 14:30 GMT
Location: Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, Surrey
TV: Sky Sports
Radio: R5L


Officials

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant 1: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant 2: Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)



Head to Head

7 Played 7
7 Won 0
0 Drawn 0
244 Total Points 100
35 Average Score 14



Recent Form

22nd Nov 2014 Twickenham Eng 28 - Samoa 9
20th Nov 2010 Twickenham Eng 26 - Samoa 13


Teams

ENGLAND

England team to play Samoa

15 Mike Brown (Harlequins 63 caps), 14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers 28 caps), 13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs 9 caps), 12 Alex Lozowski (Saracens 3 caps), 11 Elliot Daly (Wasps 15 caps), 10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers 39 caps) co-captain, 9 Danny Care (Harlequins 75 caps), 1 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers 4 caps), 2 Jamie George (Saracens 19 caps), 3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers 76 caps), 4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps 46 caps), 5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby 5 caps), 6 Maro Itoje (Saracens 13 caps), 7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins 58 caps) co-captain, 8 Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs 2 caps).

Finishers

16 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints 88 caps), 17 Joe Marler (Harlequins 52 caps), 18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs 4 caps), 19 Nick Isiekwe (Saracens 1 cap), 20 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints 60 caps), 21 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers 72 caps), 22 Piers Francis (Northampton Saints 2 caps), 23 Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby 3 caps).




Samoa


15-Ah See Tuala, 14-Paul Perez, 13-Kieron Fonotia, 12-Alapati Leiua, 11-David Lemi, 10-Tim Nanai-Williams, 9-Dwayne Polataivao, 8-Jack Lam, 7-TJ Ioane, 6-Piula Fa'asalele, 5-Chris Vui (captain), 4-Josh Tyrell, 3-Donald Brighouse, 2-Motu Matu´u, 1-Jordan Lay.

Replacements: 16-Manu Leiataua, 17-James Lay, 18-Hisa Sasagi, 19-Fa'atiga Lemalu, 20-Ofisa Treviranus, 21-Melani Matavao, 22-Reynold Lee-Lo, 23-JJ Taulagi




Last edited by LondonTiger on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 4:08 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by lostinwales on Sun 26 Nov 2017, 4:25 pm

yappysnap wrote:Haven't got to watch any of the games. But would people agree with Woodward's points there?

Broadly.

Not sure about the Underhill comment as I am not convinced that our coach of the year has asked him to do anything else than tackle. To be honest the biggest concern with Underhill is the injuries. The biggest concern for him must be the Curry brothers.

He does stand a great chance of being first choice but he has a lot to do.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by nlpnlp on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 7:50 am

Assuming Billy V and Nathan Hughes are fit, then Simmonds is third/fourth choice (behind a Fit Jack Clifford?) at 8.  Is there a case for moving him to 6 to give Robshaw some competition, rather than putting a second row in there?  I appreciate we are lucky to have a plethora of second rows and it is one way of dodging the decision on who to pick putting one of them in the backrow, so although Simmonds isn't a 6, he is at least a backrow operator.

As has been noted, we have generally got by playing a non specialist 7, but come the world cup if we are to progress we will at least need the option.  We really need one of Underhill or the Currys to stay fit and get some game time in the 6 Nations so we can see what they can do.

Other areas of concern following the AIs are tighthead where Cole seems the only option Jones seems to trust and centre where we seem to lack anyone of size (despite his Lions tour Teo still seems a question mark and Manu's fitness is an imponderable).

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 8:04 am

EJ sees Simmons as a flanker long term apparently.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by cascough on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 8:11 am

nlpnlp wrote:Assuming Billy V and Nathan Hughes are fit, then Simmonds is third/fourth choice (behind a Fit Jack Clifford?) at 8.  Is there a case for moving him to 6 to give Robshaw some competition, rather than putting a second row in there?  I appreciate we are lucky to have a plethora of second rows and it is one way of dodging the decision on who to pick putting one of them in the backrow, so although Simmonds isn't a 6, he is at least a backrow operator.

As has been noted, we have generally got by playing a non specialist 7, but come the world cup if we are to progress we will at least need the option.  We really need one of Underhill or the Currys to stay fit and get some game time in the 6 Nations so we can see what they can do.

Other areas of concern following the AIs are tighthead where Cole seems the only option Jones seems to trust and centre where we seem to lack anyone of size (despite his Lions tour Teo still seems a question mark and Manu's fitness is an imponderable).

Why will we? Who says that? Where is this mythical rule that everyone seems to subscribe to.

Under Eddie Jones, whilst "getting by" we have beaten everyone we have played, some of them more than once. The only team we haven't played that we might rationally fear is NZ and incidentally the last time we beat them we had Robshaw on the openside. We've had quite a bit of success against teams that are supposedly superior breakdown exponents. I'm forever hearing about how good Hamish Watson, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton et al are at the breakdown. But they've yet to be in a team that have beaten Eddie Jones' England yet.

The game very rarely hinges on one facet of a game. "We need a fetcher at 7" is a bit of a cliche for me" and can be dismissed with another cliche in "there's more than one way to skin a cat".

Eddie Jones may well say he wants a "genuine" 7, but from what I can tell thus far, Underhill has been employed to hit everything that moves and clean rucks. He's done that really well incidentally, but it sounds an awful lot like his instructions to Haskell which were "If it moves, hit it, if it doesn't move, hit it until it moves". One of the things Eddie Jones said when he took over was that England need to get better at the breakdown, but that can't be on one man. One man can't be everywhere so the players across the board need to get better at the breakdown.

Eddie Jones will continue to look at options, I'm sure. But the notion that we "need" a "genuine" 7 (swap for any other ambiguous phrases you might like) is little more than a romanticism IMO.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 8:26 am

Before his injury I thought that Clifford was really putting himself in the picture for 6. Yes I know the arguments about Robshaw etc but Clifford underhill/curry vunipola is for me possibly the best back row we could put out.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 8:32 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:EJ sees Simmons as a flanker long term apparently.

He said he could play 8 or 7 I think.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 8:33 am

Simmonds was the one I was curious about...specifically what his physicality was going to be like.

Well he passed the test for me and he was everywhere on the pitch...a really promising performance. However I still say he is better on the flank and a backup 8.
His explosiveness would be great alongside Billy or Nathan

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 8:35 am

Agree....he's not got the power to be an Int 8 imo but is certainly an interesting option on the flank or impact sub.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 9:03 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Before his injury I thought that Clifford was really putting himself in the picture for 6. Yes I know the arguments about Robshaw etc but Clifford underhill/curry vunipola is for me possibly the best back row we could put out.
It's funny, the Manu experience has made me unreasonably wary of players who can't seem to put a seson together.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by cascough on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 9:12 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Before his injury I thought that Clifford was really putting himself in the picture for 6. Yes I know the arguments about Robshaw etc but Clifford underhill/curry vunipola is for me possibly the best back row we could put out.
It's funny, the Manu experience has made me unreasonably wary of players who can't seem to put a seson together.

Agreed. I'm also concerned about Billy.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 9:15 am

Curry curry underhill Clifford or vunipola in my back row? !

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by lostinwales on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 9:51 am

cascough wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Before his injury I thought that Clifford was really putting himself in the picture for 6. Yes I know the arguments about Robshaw etc but Clifford underhill/curry vunipola is for me possibly the best back row we could put out.
It's funny, the Manu experience has made me unreasonably wary of players who can't seem to put a seson together.

Agreed. I'm also concerned about Billy.

Yes Billy has had a few injuries at the wrong time. We have effectively been without him for over a year I believe (edit he got 2 caps last 2 games of the 2017 6N). Still I am glad that they have not rushed him back. Better to fix him than push him too hard and break him more. And it's not like he's an unknown quantity.

All the fragile players seem to be physical guys who come through very early. I wonder if they are not up to the stresses of playing at too young an age even if their physicality is more than good enough.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 27 Nov 2017, 2:24 pm

There do seem to be a few lads with long term availability issues.

Clifford
Manu
Billy V
Underhill (So early in to his career is getting a few too many knocks..and needs to watched)


Just looking at the debate above about "genuine 7's" I agree with Cascough, I'm not sure it matters these days to have the fecther in there. Everyone has to be good at the breakdown, but the rules are changing it.

In his tenure Jones has favoured a smasher! Haskell and then Underhill. Now that he has options coming through who show differing styles (Underhill v Curry for example) it will be fascinating where he goes..or if he chooses the "horses for courses" method depending on opposition.

Anyone care to name their starting side for the 6n if everyone was fit? Its really quite difficult

Locks - Who do you pick? Do we continue with one on the flank?

Back row - So many options coming through...whats the best balance - assuming Billy V and Underhill can stay available that is. Simmonds has surely now added his name to list on the flank with an all action performance v Samoa. Hell even Zach Mercer could add another name to the list as well - maybe not for the 6n but maybe the Summer tour?

Midfield - Whats the best balance. Do we sacrifice some playmaking(Slade, Joseph) for brute force (T'eo) ?

Wings / FB - With Brown putting in a very strong performance after many subpar ones is he back as 1st choice FB, Or Is Watson ready to take that spot now. Do we need to have Roko on the wing to offer some go forward in the midfield if required?

Or as I said before...is it simply pick the best team for the opposition rather than having one "best team". Ie Use the full allocation of players available.


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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 10:26 am

Good points Cascough but.......

The players you mention are very good at the breakdown. Rather than suggesting that we beat these teams despite this, imagine that we'd stronger if we had this in our locker. Watson will make 3 or turnovers a game, Pockock more. We're lethal on the counter.....A breakdown specialist can save you 7pts or sometimes make 7pts.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by ChequeredJersey on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 1:05 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Good points Cascough but.......

The players you mention are very good at the breakdown. Rather than suggesting that we beat these teams despite this, imagine that we'd stronger if we had this in our locker. Watson will make 3 or turnovers a game, Pockock more. We're lethal on the counter.....A breakdown specialist can save you 7pts or sometimes make 7pts.

Not sure the new rules are as friendly to breakdown specialists! More defensive players in the line
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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 28 Nov 2017, 9:52 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Good points Cascough but.......

The players you mention are very good at the breakdown. Rather than suggesting that we beat these teams despite this, imagine that we'd stronger if we had this in our locker. Watson will make 3 or turnovers a game, Pockock more. We're lethal on the counter.....A breakdown specialist can save you 7pts or sometimes make 7pts.

Not sure the new rules are as friendly to breakdown specialists! More defensive players in the line

It seems to have worked against us CJ but watching the other sides, they're still getting turnovers. Look at Samoa at the weekend, they must have got about 8-10.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by cascough on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 2:54 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
ChequeredJersey wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:Good points Cascough but.......

The players you mention are very good at the breakdown. Rather than suggesting that we beat these teams despite this, imagine that we'd stronger if we had this in our locker. Watson will make 3 or turnovers a game, Pockock more. We're lethal on the counter.....A breakdown specialist can save you 7pts or sometimes make 7pts.

Not sure the new rules are as friendly to breakdown specialists! More defensive players in the line

It seems to have worked against us CJ but watching the other sides, they're still getting turnovers. Look at Samoa at the weekend, they must have got about 8-10.

You're comparing Apples and Oranges. England play a different way. I think what you're suggesting is we might be able to keep the same style of play in one regard, but the addition of one man will give us all the benefits of another style of play. I'm not convinced this is the case. Samoa threw lots of men into the breakdown and the ref let a lot go (fair enough - you play to the ref). Scotland throw men at the breakdown. So do Australia. Samoa also conceded 7 tries. Scotland concede a lot of tries. Australia concede a lot of tries. England don't play that way. They like to fan out and defend in much the same way Ireland do. England don't concede many tries, and neither do Ireland.

For me it's not about personnel, it's about tactics. Obviously if you don't have the right set of personnel for your tactics, you're going to struggle to execute them but I'm pretty happy with our tactics and they are proving pretty successful. Going back to the Samoa game, one area I think we were poor on (which directly contributed to Samoa's success) was the cleaning of the rucks. I've only watched the game once but perhaps this is something we lose when we don't play 3 backrowers. Perhaps for everything Simmonds did well, perhaps that's where his lack of power was felt. Perhaps it's as simple as we just missed a Haskell or Underhill or maybe we just didn't adapt to the ref quick enough. I dunno, but the point is had we executed our own gameplan better, it may well have negated Samoa's. Although obviously we still trounced them.

If we had Hamish Watson, we'd waste him. He'd be getting the Mako slaps on the bum and told to get out of the breakdown and defend. If we want the best out of a player like that, we'd have to change tactics and that's not just as simple as saying attack more breakdowns. Scotland like to go wide early a lot too and this fast open game is conducive to more turnovers. England on the other hand, kick a lot (Russ Petty on twitter put up some excellent stats. From memory England Kick more than anyone). I'm unmoved as to why we should change our tactics, just because some other teams are getting some turnovers.

To sum up, I'm not really saying that we can't or shouldn't (although I wouldn't) change our tactics. After all, Eddie may well end up mixing things up when Tom Curry is fit. But I'm just saying I don't subscribe to the notion that we NEED to get a Fetcher/Link man/Specialist/Genuine/Traditional 7 as I don't believe that would make us automatically better.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 2:59 am

I agree, it's not necessarily going to improve us. But.....if we had a player that could produce this kind of thing, it would add another string to the bow. I also agree that we don't really have that type of player (why don't we? Is another question) so we play to other strengths.

If a Brussow/Pocock type player ever did come through the ranks, it would be interesting to see if we'd adapt to accommodate him.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by cascough on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 3:11 am

We had Hendre Fourie. Fourie always reminded me a lot of Brussow (they went to the same school too, but that's not important right now). He was an absolute monster in the Prem when it came to turnovers and I also thought he showed up well for England. I'm sure he got a couple over the ball in his first start (against Samoa). Ultimately we ended up not taking him to the World Cup and I'm not quite sure why. Seems harder to defend when you don't have a winning approach (Although we were 6N champions that year to be fair, but we were pretty patchy besides that).

Let's see what Jones does with Curry...


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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 3:53 am

Thought Fourie got injured in one of the warm up games?

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 4:18 am

LondonTiger wrote:Thought Fourie got injured in one of the warm up games?
Johnson planned on trying Fourie out during the 2011 Six Nations, when Moody was injured, but he missed too much training, and that opened the door for Tom Wood. Wood appealed to Johnson because he could also do a job in the lineout. As it turned out, Wood went to six, and Haskell started at open side throughout the tournament. Wood went to the World Cup.

Easy to forget that Lancaster had planned on naming Tom Wood as England captain when he took over.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by cascough on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 4:30 am

LondonTiger wrote:Thought Fourie got injured in one of the warm up games?

Fourie was not part of the squad that was named for the World Cup, but he DID feature against Ireland. England were short on fit bodies so they called him back into to the team for one game only. Incidentally he got injured which in that game which he never quite shook off and retired just over a year later, and shortly after that, got deported. That's gratitude for you! He was eventually told he could stay, I think he is on Sale's staff now.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 6:15 am

Mark McCall promising Jones handling of Farrell an Itoje in today's Times.


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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 6:35 am

Praising?

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 6:43 am

yeah, weird autocorrect on my phone

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 6:55 am

Can't remember who it was who was criticising the rotation but overall I thought it was pretty good. As said before the last game it's only really Lawes who was perhaps due more of a break and that was enforced.

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Re: England vs Samoa - 25th November

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